How COVID-19 put the spotlight on the Global Business Services Sector in South Africa
South Africa went into lock down at midnight on March 26th. The Government imposed strict conditions in a determined effort to minimise the spread of the virus. While many workers were sent home, call centres were designated as essential service providers.
This enabled delivery centres across the country to continue servicing their local and offshore clients, supporting the delivery of essential services and critical economic activity.
As in most countries, the economy in South Africa has taken a tremendous knock with GDP plunging by record levels. Much of the news published about the country has been negative and gloomy. Yet, the uninterrupted delivery of essential services to clients across the globe has put the spotlight on the country and brought new opportunities and business to the Business Services sector, as work has rapidly shifted from locations that were badly disrupted to those few that "kept the lights on".
This panel discussion brings the voices and perspectives of some of the key actors in this scenario into the public domain to share with you some "good news" about South Africa, and a positive vision for the future in which the country recovers and returns to growth.
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Andy Searle, CEO, BPESA
Andy has 25 years' experience in customer service with the last 18 years spent as a management consultant and strategist. During this time, Andy has been extensively involved in the BPS Sector and his work has included: the formulation of the Customised Sector Development programme and the implementation of and support for key elements of the programme since 2005; formulating market entry strategies for international operators; site location strategies; providing in-country support for mergers and acquisitions; the design and implementation of operating models for captive and 3rd party operators; and the implementation of large scale skills development programs across the country. Andy is born, raised and educated in South Africa and has a B.Comm, H.D.E and MBA.
Reshni Singh, Director of Global Business Services, SA DTI
Reshni is responsible for strategy formulation, management, implementation and administration of the Global Business Services Incentives, which forms an integral part of the South African Value Proposition for IT enabled services. She also contributed to the Customised Sector Strategy for Global Business Services in South Africa wherein Shared Services and Legal Process Outsourcing are both key sub-sectors.
Martin Roe Group Chief Executive Officer, CCI Global
Martin has more than 20 years' experience in the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. His experience spans the UK, United States, India, Egypt, and South Africa. Martin Roe has set up BPO contact centres all over the world for clients in the telecommunications, financial services, energy, gaming and technology sectors - negotiating more than $1.5 billion worth of BPO contracts to date. Throughout his career he's developed a deep understanding of BPO from both a commercial and client perspective, having worked in just about every BPO role from operations to commercial and leadership.
Tanya Cohen, Co-ordinator, Public Private Growth Initiative (PPGI)
Tanya has worked with business organisations, government and labour for many years on a range of issues including sector growth strategies, the future of work, employment and skills development, health and enterprise development. She is an attorney by profession, and holds a BA, LLB, LLM (Laws) from the University of Witwatersrand.
Mathew Conn, Group Chief Revenue Officer, Merchants
Mat has been an activate and passionate supporter of the South African BPO industry speaking at many events worldwide and publishing several articles for the global audience regarding the value proposition of the South African BPO industry. Mat was appointed as Chief Revenue Officer at Merchants in October 2018. His significant experience managing large operations to deliver award winning customer service spans across 20 years including leading Australia's second largest ISP to deliver operations that provided industry leading and best practice customer experience. Mat's experience in outsourcing to regions including Asia Pacific, India, Americas and South Africa.
The SA Chamber of Commerce is an umbrella organisation and conduit for trade, community and investment into and out of South Africa. The SACC aims to bring under one concerted effort, a forum and meeting point for businesses who have an interest in both the UK and South Africa in an attempt to facilitate the development of business opportunities.